Just wondering... DHEA, banned or okay for the BOL Challenge?

  • Hi,

    I am 52 years old and have been taking about 50mg of DHEA for the last month, purchased at a vitamin store.  Although I have no prescription, (and there is no prescription needed to take it, for it's labeled as a legal supplement), it was recommended to me by my physician.  

    I just read within the rules section that  "Participants may not use anabolic steroids or any strength-enhancing prescription drugs or medications unless prescribed by a physician to treat an existing medical condition".  

    It has been confusing at best to find out if this is really a supplement or some sort of anabolic steroid that the FDA allowed to slip by and or be grandfathered in.  So I am wondering does DHEA fall under a banned substance for the BOL challenge?  And will I have to stop taking it, if I should decide to enter the BOF challenge, or is it legal to take will participating in the BOL challenge?

    Thanks for any info.


  • Not sure what DHEA is, but I would think that if its something you need and if it was recommended by you physician, then you should be fine. It's illegal substances (anabolic steriod) that I would simply stay away from. And if you're using supplements, make sure it's an EAS product or a supplement that you've researched and know its safe. Hope that was helpful, John_A.

  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone that's naturally produced by the adrenal glands. Levels of DHEA naturally drop after age 30. Some people take DHEA supplements in the hopes that DHEA will have health benefits and prevent some illnesses. However, the evidence is mixed.

    Why do people take DHEA?

    A number of studies have found that DHEA supplements may help people with depression, obesity, lupus, and adrenal insufficiency. DHEA may also improve skin in older people and help treat osteoporosis, vaginal atrophy, erectile dysfunction, and some psychological conditions.

    Low DHEA levels are associated with aging and a number of diseases, such as anorexia, type 2 diabetes, and HIV. In older men, having low levels of DHEA is also associated with a higher chance of death. However, it's not clear that using DHEA supplements will help lower the risks of getting any diseases.

    DHEA is used by some people who want to "reverse" aging and boost immunity, cognitive function, and muscle strength. For now, studies don't back up these uses. DHEA has been studied as a treatment for other conditions, ranging from cardiovascular disease to menopause to Alzheimer's. The results have been unclear.

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • John, we are researching your question and will get back with you soon!  

    Shannon, The BFL Team

  • Shannon and BLF team,

    looking forward to your reply.  

    thanks :-)


  • John_A,

    We checked with our experts and they said DHEA is an anabolic steroid precursor, which is not allowed as part of the Body-for-LIFE Challenge. If you wish to participate in the Challenge, you will need to discontinue use of DHEA or your entry will be disqualified.

    Thanks so much for checking with us and we wish you the best with your transformation!

    ~Tiffany, the BFL Team

  • Hi Tiffany, Shannon, and BFL Team,

    I was just hoping that since Bill Phillips in his "Sport Supplement Review 3rd Issue"  pg 26 under "Is It Cheating"  writes of DHEA,-- "only works when / if it is converted to testosterone in the body.  You might say this supplement "upgrades" your body's natural production of testosterone.", --  that this would be allowed in the BFL Challenge.   He also gives advice on how to take it, what to take it with, and recommends doses and stacks within the book as well.

    I'm just a bit bummed out for I really wanted to give the BFL Challenge a shot, but not as a trade off with losing my new regained physical intimacy with my wife, which after a few weeks on DHEA, has been given back to me.

    In light that it is discussed favorably throughout Bill Phillips'"Sport Supplement Review 3rd Issue", and was specifically listed as not cheating for competitions within the book, would there be any way to recheck with your experts once again.

    I understand if the favorable opinion of DHEA may have changed since this book was published, and i'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, but thought in light of a bit of conflicting information that I would check once again.

    Thanks again for your time and attention in this matter.


  • John,

    We wanted to let you know that we are no longer affiliated with Bill Phillips and do not hold all of his principles and beliefs as part of our EAS® Body-for-LIFE™ Challenge. We have our rules and guidelines in place to allow everyone the opportunity to compete on an even playing field. We stand behind our previous explanation and hope you can understand. If you continue to take the DHEA supplement, you will not be eligible to participate in the judging component of the Challenge, but that does not mean you can’t do the 12 week Challenge on your own.

    ~Tiffany, the BFL Team

  • John,

     I'm not eligible for the official contest either.  However, I have followed and enjoyed the benefits of BFL for years.  I would encourage you to do the challenge for you, to feel and look better.  In the end, that's the true prize for completing a BFL challenge - you will get healthy, get in great shape, and you'll feel great too.  Best of luck.